NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S1.07-7223
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Airborne Measurement Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Methane Sensing Lidar for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Beyond Photonics, LLC
1650 Coal Creek Drive, Unit B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8868
(303) 475-2088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Sammy W Henderson
1650 Coal Creek Drive, Unit B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8868
(303) 396-8536

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Sammy W Henderson
1650 Coal Creek Drive, Ste. B
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8868
(303) 396-8536

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Airborne Measurement Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Even though gaseous methane (CH4) is a comparatively sparse constituent in Earth�s atmosphere, it is the third most impactful greenhouse gas after water vapor and carbon dioxide, and the second most important in terms of anthropogenic drivers. Methane is some 60 times more effective than CO2 in absorbing long-wavelength radiation, because the methane absorption lines in that part of the spectrum are less saturated and have less overlap with water vapor lines. Natural and agricultural sources of methane continue to dominate, but are difficult to separate and quantify. World-wide, rice cultivation, biomass burning, ruminant farm animals, and fossil fuel mining and usage have long been the most powerful drivers, but with climate change these sources could be dwarfed in the future by the release of enormous quantities of methane from melting permafrost and/or methane hydrates currently buried deep in ocean sediment. Innovative new remote sensing technologies need to address the atmospheric methane concentration measurement problem for NASA and other applications.

Beyond Photonics proposes to investigate specific very compact pulsed lidar designs near the 1.645-micron wavelengths of interest by NASA for atmospheric methane (CH4) and potentially water vapor in the same nominal wavelength region. Specifically, methane concentration from moderate-sized unmanned aerial vehicles of NASA�s choice will be a focus; this application puts particular emphasis on decreasing size, weight, and prime power (SWaP) and eliminating active laser component cooling. Particular emphasis will also be placed on ensuring that the lidar designs are compatible with scaling to space qualification in future such programs. Emphasis will also be placed on technical approaches with good operational flexibility in terms of pulse energy and duration, frequency agility, and application to other IR and SWIR wavelengths.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications of the proposed low-SWaP, UAV-borne methane IPDA sensor include identification and quantification of atmospheric methane sources and sinks on a finer spatial scale than currently possible, immediately valuable for climate model improvement and atmospheric sciences. Water vapor concentration can be readily added to such an instrument for further functional enhancement and utility. The single frequency Q-switched Er:YAG lasers developed in this effort will also be applicable to aerosol backscatter measurement and Doppler winds measurement applications. The emphasis on very compact and electrically efficient operation will enhance the potential of such lasers in numerous current and planned NASA missions. IPDA DIAL lidar advancements associated with the proposed work relate directly to transmitter laser, seed laser, transmitted energy monitoring and calibration, and associated photonic component requirements of NASA programs such as CO2 IPDA, ASCENDS, and LAS.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential non-NASA commercial applications are of great interest to Beyond Photonics in terms of low cost, compact DIAL product development, as evidenced in our use of company IRAD to further the proposed effort. We ultimately envision commercial development of small, rugged, compact differential absorption lidar (DIAL) sensors for airborne (UAV) methane and CO2 atmospheric constituent detection and characterization. The lasers and lidar technology proposed here will relate to development of compact high-efficiency remote sensing instruments for commercial and military use, including spectroscopy, aerosol backscatter measurements, and wind sensing.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14